Liz Priestley is a practising artist living and working in the village of Manilla in northern NSW. Her studio, situated on the main street is spacious, having previously been an old retail space.
“I’m extremely lucky to have such a fantastic amount of workspace, something I could have only dreamed of when I was starting out in Sydney”.
Liz’s career was jump started by participating in artist run initiatives, and collectives. Studying at Julien Ashton gave her the first technical skills of painting. From there moving back to the country was the inspiration to become a full time practicing artist.
Encaustic is Liz’s chosen medium. Painting with a combination of melted wax and oil paint is an ancient technique, originating from Hellenised Egypt.
Her work is best described as a combined interpretation of both the immediate physical landscape, and that of the internal landscape. It is an exploration of the subject, viewed via a nostalgic lens. “Memory and an emotional connection to place, are the elements I try to bring together in my work.” She finds inspiration in her surroundings depicting the Namoi River many times over, as well as the big, open sky to be seen from her own back door.
“I began using encaustic with oils as merely a vehicle to add texture and layering to my work, about six years ago. Over time however, as I became comfortable with the medium and I realised its amazing properties and the extent of its flexibility; I started to use it as the base medium for all my work. Encaustic has a unique combination of characteristics which I love: It hardens immediately so there’s no drying time, it is semi-transparent and so layering can bring out lovely images, and it can be sculpted into. Not to mention that you can transfer images onto it, polish the surface, collage onto it and use a multitude of other mediums with it!”
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